King Salman approved a budget to invest $3 billion into the ‘New Taif’ project
2 October 2017| Last updated on 2 October 2017
Saudi's city of roses will soon become a summer hotspot after King Salman announced on Sunday, October 1st, 2017 plans to invest $3 billion to build a ‘new city’ in the north-eastern part of Taif.
This ‘New Taif’ will consist of a culture and heritage tourist center, university, airport, technology and industry parks and a residential suburb.
The development is planned to have three phases and occupy 1,250 square kilometres. The infrastructure contracts have already been signed for the development of the first phase which will cost $160 million and consist of building a residential suburb with more than 10,000 homes. This is the biggest development of its kind in the Makkah Region.
Taif is known for its orchards, greenery and ruins while the market place, Souk Okaz, has been a popular destination since ancient times. Travellers from across the globe would annually visit the market and intellectuals and artists would often put their creations on display in the market place.
The new culture and heritage tourist center will be an expansion of the popular attraction and will have 1,250 hotel rooms and 130 new homes.
The tourist attraction is expected to attract more than 260,000 visitors a year, will contribute around $80 million to Saudi’s economy and create 4,400 jobs.
The airport will be situated 40km from Taif and 117km from Makkah and is expected to be operational by 2020. The Industrial City will be the first of its kind in the province and will be located 55km from the city centre.
Further to this, the business park is a collaboration between King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology and the Morganti Group and will be called the Technology Oasis. Antonov aircraft and assembly facilities are one of the companies you can expect to see here along with facilities dedicated to the construction of solar panels and the development of solar energy.
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Lastly, the university will cost $530 million to construct and will cover an area of 16 million square meters in Sysid National Park.
This is part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 project and other projects include a luxury resort along the coastline of the Red Sea and an entertainment city in Al Qidiya. More recent announcements such as unblocking video calling apps, allowing women to drive and allowing cinema’s in the Kingdom again are also part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 project.